Seeing domestic and international LED patent wars from Cree and Xu Ming

Recently, Cree and SemiLEDs have agreed to end the patent infringement lawsuits of the two parties for more than a year. SemiLEDs agreed to implement a ban that will take effect on October 1, 2012, prohibiting the import and sale of SemiLEDs in the United States. The product, and a one-time payment for Cree for the damage caused in the past. The remaining claims of both parties will be abolished without harming the future rights protection rights, and other articles will not be made public.

The patent battle between Cree and Xuming Optoelectronics has lasted for more than a year. Their reconciliation will become one of the landmark events in the history of LED patents at home and abroad. It also reflects that the current solution to the patent dispute is not necessarily a fight. "You are dead and alive", in the face of market interests, the use of "win-win strategy" may be the best policy.

Looking back at the background of the incident: On April 13, 2011, Cree, a large LED manufacturer in North Carolina, USA, made six patent infringements to the LED chip manufacturer SemiLEDs in the Central Federal District of North Carolina. A patent infringement lawsuit was filed, alleging that the MvpLED (Metal Vertical Photon Light Emitting. Diode) wafer produced and sold by the company infringed Cree's LED related patents. There are 6 patents in the case, which were transferred to Cree by the inventor after obtaining the patent right. The contents are related to the composition and manufacturing method of the LED.

On August 15, 2011, Xuming Optoelectronics responded to Cree and filed a complaint with the Delaware court on the grounds of four patent infringements. The four cases of the case are patents USD566056; US7615789; US7646033; USD580888, related to LED chip design patents and white LED production methods.

Cree sues SemiLEDs

Eventually, the event ended with a settlement between the two sides.

More and more facts show that patents have become a kind of war weapon behind the scenes among enterprises in various industries, and they are also the core content of competition between enterprises and the most sharp weapon for attacking opponents. According to the past, most of the large-scale enterprises (especially large international enterprises) and small and medium-sized enterprises that are above the court because of patent cases. In the domestic LED industry, since the core patents are controlled by overseas manufacturers, Chinese LED companies are at any time facing the risk of patent infringement.

Regardless of LED chips and packaging, in the field of LED lighting, compared with foreign lighting companies, many Chinese lighting companies have not yet incorporated patent protection into their corporate development strategies.

In Taiwan, although in the 1980s, early companies, especially some electronics and high-tech companies, did not have any special concept in terms of patents. After more than a decade of experience, after encountering the taste of defendants, Taiwanese companies gradually realized patents. importance. Compared with Taiwanese companies, mainland LED companies are currently somewhat lagging behind in patents. An industry insider said that this is mainly because the mainland LED industry is just beginning to encounter patent problems.

"Enterprises are more than just watching the tigers on the other side. They think that the patent war will not go to their own heads. If the products are sold domestically, they may not be able to encounter patents. However, as long as the products are sold to Europe, America, Japan, and Korea, It will be found that the patent has become a crucial issue. The company is accused, or his client is accused, the customer receives a warning letter, and the customer will reverse the request to the domestic manufacturer to explain and solve the problem."

On the whole, there is still a certain gap between Chinese enterprises and foreign companies in terms of product competitiveness. The problems include: the ability of independent innovation of enterprises is not strong. Many patents are minor repairs on patents applied by foreign giants, facing international patent litigation. Often in the position of passive beating; the patents applied by Chinese enterprises rarely involve the core technology of LED lighting, and often there are more applications for appearance patents, so the development is subject to constraints; the applied value of patents is not high, and foreign giants The applied for patents are often used in a wide range of applications, and the impact is far-reaching.

Dr. Liang Bingwen, from the Suzhou Nanotechnology Center of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, pointed out that the more listed companies in the mainland, the more objects that the international giants can start, and the huge demand potential in the mainland, and soon will become the main competition among the major LED operators. In the battlefield, the patent war is on the verge.

Dong Pingnian, an LED consultant at Foshan Lighting, once said that “in the initial stage of the company, the patented factory deliberately pretended to turn a blind eye, adopting the strategy of “discharging fish and raising fish”, and then regaining a knife and smashing the new enterprise. Going to court.” He pointed out that the Chinese LED industry has no patents, which means that there is no defense tool, and it is in a passive beating position in patent disputes and it is helpless. Therefore, all along, the battle for patents has caused many developing small and medium-sized enterprises to be frightened and afraid of being involved in this abyss.

However, judging from the situation in recent years, the patent dispute has not only appeared between large enterprises and small and medium-sized enterprises. As the market's competitive landscape becomes more and more clear, the international giants that have already jointly monopolized the global LED patent market. Also began to start with large companies. For example, Japan's Nichia, Toyoda Gosei, Cree, Philips Lumileds and Osram have launched or responded to patent litigation in recent years.

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